Music Faculty Work


How Did I End Up Here?: The Realities of Teaching Music Education at Small Colleges and Universities

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Visions of Research in Music Education

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Throughout this phenomenological narrative study, we examined our lived experiences as five music teacher educators working in small, liberal arts universities across the United States. Data included personal and shared narratives from each participant, and each story was coded for similar themes in our overarching realities of serving as the "lone" music education faculty member at our schools. The six core themes that emerged were: (a) music education faculty at small universities must assume augmented and varied responsibilities, both in and outside the music education curriculum; (b) recruitment is a heightened priority; (c) small class sizes offer both benefits and challenges; (d) limited resources, including time for research, can be challenging; (e) music teacher educators at small institutions can promote change on campus both in curriculum and policy; and (f) the evaluation process for tenure and promotion at small institutions emphasizes teaching but can be nebulous for "stand-alone" faculty. By reflecting and reporting on our personal struggles and successes, we offer suggestions for stand-alone music education faculty and doctoral programs preparing future music teacher educators.



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